South Shore Cultural Center

  • 7059 S. South Shore Dr.   Chicago, Illinois 60649 [View Map]
  • Park Hours:
  • Park Supervisor: Andrea Adams
  • Park Phone: (773) 256-0149

Located in the South Shore community, South Shore Cultural Center (formerly the South Shore Country Club) is a cultural facility that has been recognized as a Chicago Landmark (2004) and is also listed on the National Register (1975). This cultural haven was founded in 1905 and later rebuilt in 1916. Bought by the Chicago Park District in 1975, this historic building was restored as a historic landmark after a massive community campaign led by the Chicago Park District and historic preservationists. South Shore Cultural Center totals 64.50 acres. With its magnificent country club-like interior,this facility features a solarium, formal dining hall, Paul Robeson Theater, Washburne Culinary Institute, and the Parrot Cage Restaurant. Green features of the park include a nature sanctuary and a butterfly garden. Outside, the park offers a nine-hole golf course, beach, and open spaces for picnics and walks. Many of these spaces are available for rental including our solarium, dining room, theater, and fields. Park-goers can participate in variety of cultural programs and classes for all ages in dance, music, art, health, culinary arts, fitness, and more. South Shore has recently added new adult art classes including textile art, drawing & painting, mixed media art, and ceramics. 

After school programs are offered throughout the school year, and during the summer, youth attend the Chicago Park District’s popular six-week day camp.

In addition to programs, South Shore Cultural Center hosts fun special events throughout the year for the entire family, such as holiday-themed events.

South Shore Cultural Center Arts Partners: As the gem of the South Lakefront, South Shore Cultural Center is proud to offer a variety of culturally rich programs to the surrounding community. These programs would not be possible without the successful partnerships with various organizations including After School Matters, Chicago Music Association, Chicago Modern Orchestra Project, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Court Theatre, Hatha Yoga, Pagoda Martial Arts, South Shore Advisory Council, South Shore Opera Company, Steppin', Washburne Culinary Institute. For more information about these partnerships and programs, please contact the South Shore Cultural Center.

 

South Shore Beach

South Shore Beach is part of the South Shore Cultural Center, which is considered to be the jewel of the neighborhood. The site is a 65-acre park with a golf course, tennis courts, a pool, and an elaborate, refurbished clubhouse. The clubhouse is surrounded by the golf course, and sits back from the beach area. The site also has a circular beach house with concessions, restrooms, and showers, and it is located just to the east of the clubhouse on the beach. As of 2001, South Shore also has its own Nature Sanctuary, and visitors can walk along a boardwalk near the beach, and observe the emerging sand dunes, a small wetland, prairie landscape, and a variety of wildlife in the area.

History

The South Shore Cultural Center, a 65-acre park with a golf course, tennis courts, a bathing beach, and an impressive building, originated as the South Shore Country Club. In 1905, Lawrence Heyworth, president of the downtown Chicago Athletic Club, envisioned an exclusive club with a "country setting." Heyworth selected unimproved south lakefront property, often used for fishing and duck hunting, for the new country club.

The club's directors hired architects Marshall and Fox, later known for designing many of Chicago's most luxurious hotel and apartment buildings, including the Drake Hotel. For inspiration, Heyworth provided a photograph of an old private club in Mexico City, but asked the architects to exclude expensive embellishments. As the club could not yet collect dues, work had to proceed quickly and inexpensively. To this end, members Marshall Field and A. Montgomery Ward lent their store delivery wagons to transport turf, sod, and trees. Mr. Worcester, Vice-President of the Peoples Gas Company, put in lighting for the grounds and clubhouse.

Enjoying immediate success and social importance, South Shore Country Club quickly outgrew its facilities. Marshall and Fox were hired to build a new clubhouse, incorporating the original ballroom. Constructed in 1916, the larger and more substantial reinforced concrete building, like the original, was designed in the Mediterranean Revival style. The country club's membership peaked in the late 1950s. Simultaneously, many African-Americans began settling in South Shore. Because the private club excluded black members, it went out of business in the 1970s.

In 1974, the Chicago Park District purchased the property to expand its lakefront facilities. The park district planned to demolish the severely-deteriorated clubhouse. However, community members rallied together to save the historic building. Rehabilitating the clubhouse as a cultural center in the late 1970s, the park district has since restored other historic features including the front colonnade, entry gate and stables.

Parking/Directions

Metered parking is available in the lot on site.  Get rates and additional information.

For directions using public transportation visit www.transitchicago.com.

South Shore Art Gallery

South Shore Art Gallery

Hours: ,

BlammO

BlammO (1)

Location Notes: South Shore Cultural Center

Descriptors: Outdoor, Sculpture, Temporary

Mr. Big

Mr. Big (1)

Location Notes: South Shore Cultural Center

Descriptors: Outdoor, Sculpture, Temporary

South Shore Beach

South Shore Beach

Notes: Distance swimming is from south end rocks to trees at north end of beach, parallel to shore at boat line

South Shore Bird Santuary

South Shore Bird Santuary

Notes: South Shore Bird Santuary

South Shore Community Garden

South Shore Community Garden

Location Notes: Located to the right of the main building.

South Shore Culinary Center

South Shore Culinary Center

Location Notes: on 4th floor

South Shore Cultural Center

South Shore Cultural Center

Hours:

Notes: Table & chairs available upon request.

Descriptors: Has Air Conditioning, Metered lot parking, Has Wi-fi

South Shore Beach

South Shore Beach

South Shore Formal Garden

South Shore Formal Garden

Notes: Located at the boulevard entry in front of the main building.

South Shore Lakeview Room

South Shore Lakeview Room

Notes: Overlooks picnic grove 3 & 4.

Descriptors: Recommended for Weddings

South Shore Music Library

South Shore Music Library

South Shore Oak Room

South Shore Oak Room

Notes: Overlooks Picnic Grove 1

Descriptors: Has Kitchen

South Shore Park Kids Room

South Shore Park Kids Room

Paul Robeson Theatre

Paul Robeson Theatre

Location Notes: 7059 S. South Shore Dr.

Notes: Tables & chairs available upon request

South Shore Dining Room

South Shore Dining Room

Notes: Tables & chairs available upon request. May optionally upgrade to Chiavari Chairs for additional cost. Includes attached Dining Room Foyer. Has small attached catering prep area with fridge.

Descriptors: Recommended for Weddings

South Shore Early Childhood Room

South Shore Early Childhood Room

South Shore Solarium

South Shore Solarium

Notes: Tables & chairs available upon request. Overlooks picnic grove 2.

Descriptors: Recommended for Weddings

South Shore Teen Club House

South Shore Teen Club House

South Shore Picnic Grove

South Shore Picnic Grove

Location Notes: 7059 S. South Shore Dr.

South Shore Prairie and Grassland

South Shore Prairie and Grassland

Location Notes: 7059 S. South Shore Dr.

Notes: South Shore Cultural Center

News

Events

Spring Programs

Most spring programs start the week of  April 3 and run through the week of June 5.  Click on the program name links below to view a program and register now.  Registration is on-going while spots are available.
 

Summer Programs

The standard 6-week day camp runs June 26 through August 4.  Specialty camp dates vary.  Most other summer programs start the week of June 19 and run through the week of August 21.  View programs online & create your wishlist beginning  Monday, April 10.  Registration dates for our park are:

  • Online registration begins on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 at 9:00am.
  • In-person registration begins on Saturday, April 29, 2017.

Click on the program name links below for program descriptions, availability information and to register online now (if available).

Name Number Type Category Ages Gender Dates Fee
Boot Camp at South Shore 195969InstructionWellness - Fitness18 and upCoed2017/06/19 22:00From June 19, 2017 to August 21, 2017
Each Monday from 5pm to 6pm
$19.00
Cooking Academy at South Shore 199088InstructionSpecial Interest - Educational/Self-HelpAt least 8 but less than 14Coed2017/08/07 13:00From August 7, 2017 to August 11, 2017
Each Monday from 8am to 6pm
Each Tuesday from 8am to 6pm
Each Wednesday from 8am to 6pm
Each Thursday from 8am to 6pm
Each Friday from 8am to 6pm
$150.00
Cultural Camp at South Shore 195540CampsCamps - Special InterestAt least 6 but less than 8Coed2017/06/26 15:00From June 26, 2017 to August 4, 2017
Each Monday from 10am to 4pm
Each Tuesday from 10am to 4pm
Each Wednesday from 10am to 4pm
Each Thursday from 10am to 4pm
Each Friday from 10am to 4pm
$330.00
Dance Camp at South Shore 195570CampsCamps - Special InterestAt least 8 but less than 13Coed2017/06/26 15:00From June 26, 2017 to August 4, 2017
Each Monday from 10am to 4pm
Each Tuesday from 10am to 4pm
Each Wednesday from 10am to 4pm
Each Thursday from 10am to 4pm
Each Friday from 10am to 4pm
$330.00
Early Bird Camp at South Shore 195794CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2017/06/26 12:30From June 26, 2017 to August 4, 2017
Each Monday from 7:30am to 10am
Each Tuesday from 7:30am to 10am
Each Wednesday from 7:30am to 10am
Each Thursday from 7:30am to 10am
Each Friday from 7:30am to 10am
$105.00
Extended Camp at South Shore 195878CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2017/06/26 21:00From June 26, 2017 to August 4, 2017
Each Monday from 4pm to 6pm
Each Tuesday from 4pm to 6pm
Each Wednesday from 4pm to 6pm
Each Thursday from 4pm to 6pm
Each Friday from 4pm to 6pm
$105.00
Junior Lifeguards at South Shore Beach 196297CampsAquatics - SpecializedAt least 8 but less than 16Coed2017/06/26 15:00From June 26, 2017 to August 4, 2017
Each Monday from 10am to 4pm
Each Tuesday from 10am to 4pm
Each Wednesday from 10am to 4pm
Each Thursday from 10am to 4pm
Each Friday from 10am to 4pm
$230.00
Late Summer Camp at South Shore 196365CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2017/08/07 13:00From August 7, 2017 to August 11, 2017
Each Monday from 8am to 6pm
Each Tuesday from 8am to 6pm
Each Wednesday from 8am to 6pm
Each Thursday from 8am to 6pm
Each Friday from 8am to 6pm
$102.00
Photography Camp at South Shore 196774CampsCamps - Special InterestAt least 8 but less than 13Coed2017/06/26 15:00From June 26, 2017 to August 4, 2017
Each Monday from 10am to 4pm
Each Tuesday from 10am to 4pm
Each Wednesday from 10am to 4pm
Each Thursday from 10am to 4pm
Each Friday from 10am to 4pm
$330.00
Play Camp at South Shore 196848CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 4 but less than 6Coed2017/06/27 14:00From June 27, 2017 to August 3, 2017
Each Tuesday from 9am to 1pm
Each Wednesday from 9am to 1pm
Each Thursday from 9am to 1pm
$145.00
Sports Camp at South Shore Cancelled199087CampsCamps - SportsAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2017/06/19 13:00From June 19, 2017 to August 25, 2017
Each Monday from 8am to 6pm
Each Tuesday from 8am to 6pm
Each Wednesday from 8am to 6pm
Each Thursday from 8am to 6pm
Each Friday from 8am to 6pm
$100.00
Strength & Conditioning at South Shore 197114InstructionWellness - Fitness18 and upCoed2017/06/19 23:15From June 19, 2017 to August 14, 2017
Each Monday from 6:15pm to 7:15pm
$19.00
Theater Camp at South Shore 197445CampsCamps - Special InterestAt least 8 but less than 13Coed2017/06/26 15:00From June 26, 2017 to August 4, 2017
Each Monday from 10am to 4pm
Each Tuesday from 10am to 4pm
Each Wednesday from 10am to 4pm
Each Thursday from 10am to 4pm
Each Friday from 10am to 4pm
$330.00
Yoga Partnership at South Shore 197668PartnershipGroupWellness - Yoga18 and upCoed2017/06/13 16:00From June 13, 2017 to August 15, 2017
Each Tuesday from 11am to Noon
$80.00

Photos & Videos

Reviews

Description

Located in the South Shore community, South Shore Cultural Center (formerly the South Shore Country Club) is a cultural facility that has been recognized as a Chicago Landmark (2004) and is also listed on the National Register (1975). This cultural haven was founded in 1905 and later rebuilt in 1916. Bought by the Chicago Park District in 1975, this historic building was restored as a historic landmark after a massive community campaign led by the Chicago Park District and historic preservationists. South Shore Cultural Center totals 64.50 acres. With its magnificent country club-like interior,this facility features a solarium, formal dining hall, Paul Robeson Theater, Washburne Culinary Institute, and the Parrot Cage Restaurant. Green features of the park include a nature sanctuary and a butterfly garden. Outside, the park offers a nine-hole golf course, beach, and open spaces for picnics and walks. Many of these spaces are available for rental including our solarium, dining room, theater, and fields. Park-goers can participate in variety of cultural programs and classes for all ages in dance, music, art, health, culinary arts, fitness, and more. South Shore has recently added new adult art classes including textile art, drawing & painting, mixed media art, and ceramics. 

After school programs are offered throughout the school year, and during the summer, youth attend the Chicago Park District’s popular six-week day camp.

In addition to programs, South Shore Cultural Center hosts fun special events throughout the year for the entire family, such as holiday-themed events.

South Shore Cultural Center Arts Partners: As the gem of the South Lakefront, South Shore Cultural Center is proud to offer a variety of culturally rich programs to the surrounding community. These programs would not be possible without the successful partnerships with various organizations including After School Matters, Chicago Music Association, Chicago Modern Orchestra Project, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Court Theatre, Hatha Yoga, Pagoda Martial Arts, South Shore Advisory Council, South Shore Opera Company, Steppin', Washburne Culinary Institute. For more information about these partnerships and programs, please contact the South Shore Cultural Center.

 

South Shore Beach is part of the South Shore Cultural Center, which is considered to be the jewel of the neighborhood. The site is a 65-acre park with a golf course, tennis courts, a pool, and an elaborate, refurbished clubhouse. The clubhouse is surrounded by the golf course, and sits back from the beach area. The site also has a circular beach house with concessions, restrooms, and showers, and it is located just to the east of the clubhouse on the beach. As of 2001, South Shore also has its own Nature Sanctuary, and visitors can walk along a boardwalk near the beach, and observe the emerging sand dunes, a small wetland, prairie landscape, and a variety of wildlife in the area.
The South Shore Cultural Center, a 65-acre park with a golf course, tennis courts, a bathing beach, and an impressive building, originated as the South Shore Country Club. In 1905, Lawrence Heyworth, president of the downtown Chicago Athletic Club, envisioned an exclusive club with a "country setting." Heyworth selected unimproved south lakefront property, often used for fishing and duck hunting, for the new country club.

The club's directors hired architects Marshall and Fox, later known for designing many of Chicago's most luxurious hotel and apartment buildings, including the Drake Hotel. For inspiration, Heyworth provided a photograph of an old private club in Mexico City, but asked the architects to exclude expensive embellishments. As the club could not yet collect dues, work had to proceed quickly and inexpensively. To this end, members Marshall Field and A. Montgomery Ward lent their store delivery wagons to transport turf, sod, and trees. Mr. Worcester, Vice-President of the Peoples Gas Company, put in lighting for the grounds and clubhouse.

Enjoying immediate success and social importance, South Shore Country Club quickly outgrew its facilities. Marshall and Fox were hired to build a new clubhouse, incorporating the original ballroom. Constructed in 1916, the larger and more substantial reinforced concrete building, like the original, was designed in the Mediterranean Revival style. The country club's membership peaked in the late 1950s. Simultaneously, many African-Americans began settling in South Shore. Because the private club excluded black members, it went out of business in the 1970s.

In 1974, the Chicago Park District purchased the property to expand its lakefront facilities. The park district planned to demolish the severely-deteriorated clubhouse. However, community members rallied together to save the historic building. Rehabilitating the clubhouse as a cultural center in the late 1970s, the park district has since restored other historic features including the front colonnade, entry gate and stables.

Metered parking is available in the lot on site.  Get rates and additional information.

For directions using public transportation visit www.transitchicago.com.